By Mark Smith

10th Jan, 2022 | 8:10pm

Keith Hackett responds as Leeds United plot bans for pitch invaders

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…

Keith Hackett has applauded Leeds United for their promise to ban fans who invade the pitch at Elland Road this season.

The ex-Premier League referee insists that the Whites run the risk of being fined should this continue to happen at every home game.

Leeds released a statement this week, something Hackett believes is a “warning shot” with encroachment getting worst each week.

“What we’ve got to understand is, they’re all security issues around protecting players,” he exclusively told MOT Leeds News.

“What they’ve actually done here, is they’ve made it very clear that it’s parents, guardians and children.

“When you’ve got a mature individual, running onto the pitch, there is always that danger – therefore, they’re right to give out a warning shot.

“It’s very clear that fans generally have got to stay off the field of play, if they come on, that is an offence. Leeds understand that position, they risk being fined if fans come on the field of play.

“I think they have taken a proactive approach which I applaud.”

This was needed to be done, no matter which way you look at it.

Those looking on may think it is harmless, but if there is a serious risk of picking up consistent fines – who are the winners here?

Getting a hug from one of your heroes is good to see, but do it outside of the ground when the players are leaving for their cards – it is not that hard.

n other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has shared if the Whites are in the ‘advanced’ stages of any January signings